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Old December 11, 2023, 03:46 PM
createdamadman createdamadman is offline
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"se las ingeniaba"

In the bold phrase below, I'm a bit unclear about the "se las" construction here. I imagine the "se" is a "le" with the letter change because of the "las", and I'm guessing that it refers to the people he's getting to serve him, but I'm not entirely sure.

As far as the "las", I have no idea what this is referring to.



"Después de asearse y comer un poco de pan, Ferrán cogió su abrigo y decidió salir a buscar a Pascal, al quien pensaba encontrar en algunas de las tabernas que había por Valparaíso. Seguramente, entre las más sórdidas y turbias de la ciudad, aquellas donde la calaña compartía tragos y penas, y donde no era muy complicado conseguir algo de dinero si se estaba dispuesto a traspasar los límites de la moral.

Si había algo que sorprendía a Ferrán, era la manera en la que Pascal se las ingeniaba para conseguir que le sirvieran en las tabernas, pese a que se había procurado una fama. Suponía que no debía haber perdido del todo su habilidad sibilina para ganarse a cualquiera o para engañar a un pobre inocente."
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Old December 11, 2023, 05:18 PM
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Rusty Rusty is offline
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What you're seeing here is «ingeniárselas para», which is a verbal locution. The reflexive pronoun 'se' will change to match the subject (Pascal). Both the reflexive pronoun and the 'las' (static - it never changes) precede the conjugated verb.
The resulting phrase can be translated as 'managed to' («encontró un modo de»).
So, «era la manera en la que Pascal se las ingeniaba para conseguir que le sirvieran en las tabernas» means "was the way Pascal managed to get himself served in the taverns."
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